ACT has been funded by the B.C. Ministry for Children and Family Development to facilitate the development of online training resources for clinicians to enable them to provide mental health services to children with ASD. The severe shortage of adequate mental health services is a pervasive issue confronting families across Canada seeking mental health support for their children with autism, across the lifespan.
ACT has brought together an Advisory Committee, composed of leading autism specialists from across British Columbia and Canada to consider how to best tackle the challenge of the shortage of mental health clinicians confident in treating children with ASD. In addition, representatives of community organizations have joined the committee to advise ACT and help promote the resources being developed.
In fall of 2016, the committee hosted focus groups with professionals and an online survey was launched. Information from CASDA’s 2014 Survey looking at the experiences of families and individuals with ASD across Canada has been reviewed. This project began with two webinars which were recorded and are available online: Recognising Mental Health Disorders and Treating Anxiety, Depression and OCD.
Additional presentations are being added weekly as of the Fall of 2018 including:
- ESSENCE* – Early Recognition of ASD and Associated Disorders – Can It Lead to Better Outcomes?
- Addressing Mental Health in Autism : Should We Treat the Person with ASD, the Family, or the Community?
- Girls and Women with Eating Disorders – Why are ASD and ADHD Missed?
- Practical Strategies for Supporting Mental Wellness of Teenage Girls and Women with ASD
By December 2018 we expect to have over a dozen videos available. While developed for British Columbia, the content of these presentations are relevant internationally.
OMHAP Expert Advisory Committee
ACT is grateful for the continuing commitment of the following individuals as we engage in this important work.
- Anthony Bailey, MBBS, DCH, MRCPsych, FRCPsych, Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia (Committee Chair)
- David Batstone, PhD, RPsych (retired)
- Karen D. Bopp, PhD, RSLP; Director of Provincial Outreach/ Adjunct Professor, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA), UBC
- Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Head, Neuropsychiatry Clinic, BC Children’s Hospital; Developmental Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, UBC
- Dr. Balbinder Gill, Pediatrician, Richmond Hospital; Child and Youth Mental Health Team, Vancouver
- Grace Iarocci, PhD, RPsych; Professor, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University
- Stephanie Jull, PhD, BCBA-D, VP, Programs and Training, Canucks Autism Network
- Tamara Kulusic, Manager, Autism Policy, Inclusion Supports and Services Policy Team, Ministry of Children and Family Development
- Kelly Price, PhD, RPsych, Senior Psychologist, Child & Youth Mental Health Policy, Ministry of Children & Family Development (Provincial)
- Georgina Robinson, PhD, District Principal, Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Special Education, Adjunct faculty, Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education, UBC
- Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D, Coordinator, Instructor, Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism Department, Capilano University
- Jonathan Weiss, PhD, CPsych, CIHR Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University
- Lori Woods, Coordinator, Disability and Community Studies Department – Douglas College
- David Worling, PhD, RPsych, Clinical Director, Westcoast Child Development Group (Vancouver)
UBC – CPD Members:
- Andrea Keesey, Director
ACT Committee Members:
- Deborah Pugh, Executive Director
- Stephanie Porter, Event Coordinator